Women in Business: Laura Way from Votch - To Me, Being a Woman in Business Means Also Being a Mother
Today, we welcome another guest in our Women in Business series. Laura Way, founder of vegan and cruelty-free watch brand Votch, shares the start of her journey and what it means to her to balance motherhood with being a woman in business.
"I’ve been asked a few times what it means to be a woman in business, but to me, it is also about being a mother and a woman in business.
I launched Votch after suffering a debilitating, iatrogenic condition called Topical Steroid Withdrawal, and illness where I lost all my skin due to the over-prescription of steroid creams to treat the eczema I had suffered with since I was a child. Having felt the pain of losing my own skin, I vowed to never wear the skin of another being again and also went vegan during my recovery. When I recovered, and an old watch strap broke, finding a vegan-friendly replacement proved nigh impossible, so the idea for Votch was born! A cruelty-free watch company that gives back.
Prior to launching Votch, I was a TV producer, producing TV commercials for well-known household brands and I never would have envisaged owning and running my own watch brand one day. But once the idea had come to me, I just knew I had to find a way to bring it to life, for I wanted to create something where I could give back to those helping the innocent lives of others. I spent months and months researching, sampling and learning about manufacturing and we launched our website and first collection in August 2016 which had sold out by Christmas.
Not even 2 years after our launch I fell pregnant with our son Marley (now two…going on twelve). Becoming a mother and running a business was something I could never have been prepared for, I totally underestimated the pressures and endless lists and ‘to-do’s of running a company and nothing could have prepared me for what motherhood entailed either. Marley was, as the midwives called, ‘spirited’ and one even said to us ‘there are babies, and then there is Marley’, for Marley did not like to sleep, ever. My beautiful little boy woke every 40 minutes for the first 16 months of life – running a business meant maternity leave was non-existent and the constant plague of mum guilt hung over me like an overbearing parent whilst trying to juggle emails and breastfeeding at the same time!
But Marley grew and by the time he turned 2 he was sleeping through the night, and this little force that came in to my life only amplified the passion for why I do what I do. For I want to show my son that this mum can, that I can carve a small path in this world to teach him compassion, that we don’t need to subject animals to needless suffering, and that grafting, crafting and dedication can take us on a lifelong path of adventures and discovery. Since becoming a mother, I have forced myself out of my comfort zone on many occasions, a recent example is pitching to investors who believed in us enough to come on our journey with us to take Votch to the next level. Every time we sell a watch, not only do I do a dance, but Marley does too – and he’s got some pretty amazing move"
Thanks so much Laura and happy Sunday everyone!